People everywhere search for answers by using the resources of their traditions. They wish to do so in a legitimate way, and so they consult official institutions, specialists, and skilled individuals for their opinions; regardless of religious or cultural contexts, the common aim of these experts is to produce security, unity, and trust. Therefore, the norm-finding processes in Islamic and Western contexts share fundamental similarities: the problem of finding a final ground for judgment, the strategies of constructing coherence and of (...) organizing consensus, and the difficulties of obtaining legitimacy. What makes one debate "Islamic" and the other one "Western" is the different semantic materials, the different authorities, the different languages, and the different juridical frameworks. In my comparison of Muslim and Western discourses and practices, I conclude that Muslim and non-Muslim scholars tend to overemphasize the uniqueness of Muslim legal and practical responses to bioethical challenges, because they restrict their purview to legal opinions, ignoring larger dynamics of legitimization. (shrink)
Bourdieu’s thought is disturbing. Provocative. Scandalous even, at least for those who do not easily tolerate the unmitigated truth about the social. Nonetheless his ideas, among the most important and innovative of our time, are here to stay. This thought has taken form in the course of a career and through works on diverse subjects that have constructed a far-reaching analytical model of social life, which the author calls more readily an anthropology rather than a sociology. In their totality, they (...) constitute today an original and powerful proposal to explain human practices. In the face of criticisms commonly leveled at Bourdieu’s thought (notably the charge that it reduces everything to a single schematic model), it is important to identify the spirit of his enterprise. Early on, it is true, his thought drew on a few fundamental concepts—the trilogy habitus, field (champ), practice (pratique)—to which it constantly returned, and followed a clearly defined trajectory. At the same time, however, he continually reformulated, adapted, and refined his analytical model, depending on the operations to which he subjected new objects of inquiry. The regenerative and transformative force of his thought was supported by two convictions. First, that there being nothing more vain than theory for theory’s sake, it is preferable that theoretical production originate in the study of concrete and occasionally very specific cases. Second, that in order to escape stereotypical classifications, boundaries separating disciplines are best transgressed, thereby favoring new constructions of the object of inquiry. (shrink)
Despite remarkable advances in diagnosis and therapy, ischemic heart disease (IHD) remains a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in industrialized countries. Recent efforts to estimate the influence of genetic variation on IHD risk have focused on predicting individual plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentration. Plasma HDL-C concentration (mg/dl), a quantitative risk factor for IHD, has a complex multifactorial etiology that involves the actions of many genes. Single gene variations may be necessary but are not individually sufficient to predict a (...) statistically significant increase in risk of disease. The complexity of phenotype-genotype-environment relationships involved in determining plasma HDL-C concentration has challenged commonly held assumptions about genetic causation and has led to the question of which combination of variations, in which subset of genes, in which environmental strata of a particular population significantly improves our ability to predict high or low risk phenotypes. We document the limitations of inferences from genetic research based on commonly accepted biological models, consider how evidence for real-world dynamical interactions between HDL-C determinants challenges the simplifying assumptions implicit in traditional linear statistical genetic models, and conclude by considering research options for evaluating the utility of genetic information in predicting traits with complex etiologies. (shrink)
Manfred Eigen employs the terms language and communication to explain key recombination processes of DNA as well as to explain the self-organization of human language and communication: Life processes as well as language and communication processes are governed by the logic of a molecular syntax, which is the exact depiction of a principally formalizable reality. The author of the present contribution demonstrates that this view of Manfred Eigen’s cannot be sufficiently substantiated and that it must be supplemented by (...) an approach based on linguistic pragmatics. (shrink)
A review of: Manfred Kuehn. Scottish Common Sense in Germany, 1768-1800: A Contribution to the History of Critical Philosophy. (McGill-Queen's Studies in the History of Ideas.) xiv + 300 pp., app., bibl., index. Kingston, Ont./Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 1987. $35.
What is the relationship between anger and justice, especially when so much of our moral education has taught us to value the impartial spectator, the cold distance of reason? In _Sing the Rage_, Sonali Chakravarti wrestles with this question through a careful look at the emotionally charged South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which from 1996 to 1998 saw, day after day, individuals taking the stand to speak—to cry, scream, and wail—about the atrocities of apartheid. Uncomfortable and surprising, these public (...) emotional displays, she argues, proved to be of immense value, vital to the success of transitional justice and future political possibilities. Chakravarti takes up the issue from Adam Smith and Hannah Arendt, who famously understood both the dangers of anger in politics and the costs of its exclusion. Building on their perspectives, she argues that the expression and reception of anger reveal truths otherwise unavailable to us about the emerging political order, the obstacles to full civic participation, and indeed the limits—the frontiers—of political life altogether. Most important, anger and the development of skills needed to truly listen to it foster trust among citizens and recognition of shared dignity and worth. An urgent work of political philosophy in an era of continued revolution, _Sing the Rage_ offers a clear understanding of one of our most volatile—and important—political responses. (shrink)
El ensayo pretende reconstruir la lectura del pensamiento francés en las lecciones dictadas por Manfred Frank en su texto ¿Qué es el neoestructuralismo? Estas lecciones fueron claves para la recepción alemana del pensamiento francés surgido en los años 60. Las lecciones de Frank parecen mostrar algunas vías productivas para pensar la recepción alemana del posestructuralismo sin caer en el rechazo que llevó adelante el trabajo de Jürgen Habermas en El discurso filosófico de la modernidad. Nuestro análisis se centra en (...) la problemática de la subjetividad, tanto en las impugnaciones que realiza Frank, como también en aquellos puntos destacados que podría evidenciar el posestructuralismo. Finalmente, el trabajo sugiere, mediante el camino marcado por las lecciones de Frank, la existencia de una recepción menos problemática en el plano de la estética alemana. (shrink)
Manfred Frank and Niels Weidtmann (Eds.): Husserl und die Philosophie des Geistes Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s10743-011-9101-2 Authors Dan Zahavi, Center for Subjectivity Research, Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark Journal Husserl Studies Online ISSN 1572-8501 Print ISSN 0167-9848.
This essay works to set up a debate between the German philosopher Manfred Frank and the French philosophers Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe and Jean-Luc Nancy. At stake in the debate is the concept of freedom. The essay begins by explaining Frank's subject-based concept of freedom and then it presents the perfectly opposed non-subjective ontological concept of freedom that Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy forward. In the end, in the interest of threading a way through this impasse, and following the cue of these three (...) philosophers, we turn to the early German Romantics Novalis and Friedrich Schlegel to help us reconceptualise freedom. Following their cue, I draw on the strengths of Frank and Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy while avoiding their dangerous extremes. (shrink)
Review of Manfred Kuehn's outstanding biography on Immanuel Kant. A critical point I raise concerns Kuehn's discussion of Kant's relation to Hume. Scholars are divided over the questions of (a) whether Hume was an actual inspiration for Kant’s Critical philosophy, (b) whether Kant’s defense really addresses Hume’s problem of causality, and, of course, (c) whether Kant’s arguments provide a satisfactory solution to the problem. Sometimes these questions are not clearly distinguished by interpreters, part of the reason Kant scholarship appears (...) so intractable to outsiders. While Kuehn’s answers to questions (a) and (b) appear to be ”Yes”, and while his reasons for the Yes to (a) are convincing, those for Yes to (b) are not; and (c) isn't addressed at all. (shrink)
Manfred Riedel begann als Schüler von Ernst Bloch in Leipzig in der frühen DDR, die er aus politischen Gründen verließ. Bei Gadamer und Löwith promoviert, widmete er sich nach der Rekonstruktion des Theorie-Praxis-Problems bei Hegel Grundfragen der Genese der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft. Sein späteres Denken konzentriert sich auf den Gesamtraum der Traditionen praktischer Philosophie, auf die hermeneutische Grundlegung der Geisteswissenschaften und vor allem die Freilegung einer Tradition akroamatischer spekulativer Philosophie als Grund der abendländischen Metaphysik in einer hörenden, endlichen Vernunft. Sein (...) Spätwerk gilt insbesondere der Zwiesprache von Denken und Dichten. Eng in die Geschichtsentwicklung seiner Lebenszeit verwoben, ist Riedels denkerisches Vermächtnis, nicht zuletzt aufgrund seiner Freiheit und Eigenständigkeit, einer der bleibenden Beiträge zur Philosophie unserer Zeit. (shrink)
This paper progresses the original argument of Richard Ratzan that formal presentation of the medical case history follows a Homeric oral-formulaic tradition. The everyday work routines of doctors involve a ritual poetics, where the language of recounting the patient's ‘history’ offers an explicitly aesthetic enactment or performance that can be appreciated and given meaning within the historical tradition of Homeric oral poetry and the modernist aesthetic of Minimalism. This ritual poetics shows a reliance on traditional word usages that crucially act (...) as tools for memorisation and performance and can be linked to forms of clinical reasoning; both contain a tension between the oral and the written record, questioning the priority of the latter; and the performance of both helps to create the Janus-faced identity of the doctor as a ‘performance artist’ or ‘medical bard’ in identifying with medical culture and maintaining a positive difference from the patient as audience, offering a valid form of patient-centredness. (shrink)
This paper addresses a number of issues concerning both the status of phenomenology in the work of one of its classical expositors, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and the general relation between theoretical models and evidence in phenomenological accounts. In so doing, I will attempt to explain Merleau-Ponty’s departure from classical transcendental accounts in Husserl’s thought and why Merleau-Ponty increasingly elaborated on them through aesthetic rationality. The result is a phenomenology that no longer understands itself as foundational and no longer understands itself in (...) the strict opposition of intuition and concept. Rather both emerge from an operative experience generated in the exchange between situated embodied knowing and historical knowledge. (shrink)
We focus on two problems with the evolutionary scenario proposed: (1) It bypasses the question of the origins of the communicative and semiotic features that make language distinct from, say, pleasant but meaningless sounds. (2) It does little to explain the absence of language in, for example, chimpanzees: Most of the selection pressures invoked apply just as strongly to chimps. We suggest how these problems could possibly be amended.
The allure of perennial questions in biology: temporary excitement or substantive advance? Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9533-5 Authors Alan C. Love, Department of Philosophy, Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science, University of Minnesota, 831 Heller Hall, 271 19th Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0310, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
A special version of arguments from hypocrisy, those known as tu quoque arguments, is introduced and developed. These are arguments from what one’s opponent would do, were conditions different, so they are what we call subjunctive tu quoque arguments. Arguments of this form are regularly taken to be fallacious, but the authors discuss conditions for determining when hypothetical inconsistency is genuinely relevant to criticizing a speaker’s assertion or proposed action and when it is not relevant.